The 1965 ONCE Festival was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan from Feb. 11-14. This was the fifth in a series of Festivals put on during the early and mid-1960s which were devoted to new and avant-garde music. The founders of the Festivals and its associated ONCE Group included Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, George Cacioppo, Roger Reynolds, and Donald Scavarda. This the second concert, held on February 12, 1965 included works by Russell Peck, Robert Ashley, George Crevoshay, George Cacioppo and Blue... Topics: Music, New Music, KPFA-FM, Electronic music, Avant-Garde
This is the first in a series of four concerts of chamber music put on by the Oakland Museum in the Spring of 1971. The focus of the concerts was works by contemporary California composers, although the programs also included other works , as seen fit by the program director Donald Cobb. Thus this first concert, recorded on February 19, 1971, includes songs by Aaron Copland, Ernst Bacon, and Guilaume de Machaut, as well as chamber works by Lou Harrison, Antonin Dvorák, George Gershwin, and Roy... Topics: KPFA-FM, Music, 20th Century Classical, Art Songs
This is the second in a series of four concerts of chamber music put on by the Oakland Museum in the Spring of 1971. The focus of the concerts was works by contemporary California composers, although the programs also included other works, as seen fit by the program director Donald Cobb. Thus this second concert, recorded on March 12, 1971, includes songs by Claudio Monteverdi, Virgil Thomson with Gertrude Stein, and Ralph Vaughan Williams, as well as chamber works by Ernest Bloch, and Leon... Topics: KPFA-FM, Music, Classical Music, Art Songs, Chamber Music
This is the third in a series of four concerts of chamber music put on by the Oakland Museum in the Spring of 1971. The focus of the concerts was works by contemporary California composers, although the programs also included other works, as seen fit by the program director Donald Cobb. Thus this third concert, recorded on April 16, 1971, includes works by William Byrd, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Carl Ruggles, Andrew Imbrie, Joseph Haydn, and Henry Cowell. All performed by local San Francisco Bay... Topics: KPFA-FM, Music, 20th Century Classical, Classical Music
A recording of “Oblique Formation” a contemporary chamber work for flute and piano by Charles Boone. The piece is performed by Benjamin Borson on flute and Madeline Morton on piano. This recording is from a KPFA tape, and was first broadcast by that station on June 28, 1971. Topics: 20th century classical, Music, Chamber Music, KPFA-FM
On March 4, 1970 Charles Amirkhanian broadcast the first in a series of ongoing programs called Ode to Gravity. The focus of the program has been avant-garde and contemporary music, with forays into the realms of experimental literature as well as visual and performance art. Initially inspired by a live theater piece by Amirkhanian, in which assorted objects ranging from a marble to a mattress to a car fender were dropped from a balcony into a circle of spectators, the radio program, Ode to... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Sound Poetry
Charles Amirkhanian plays selections from the 1973 Gaudeamus Music Week, an international music festival and competition, sponsored by the Gaudeamus Foundation in the Netherlands. Featured here are works by Frank Becker, an American composer living in Japan, German composer Wilfried Michel, Croatian composer Marko Ruždjak, and the first prize winner of the 1973 competition, African-American composer Maurice Weddington. The works highlight the best of avant-garde classical music, mixing spatial... Topics: KPFA-FM, Music, Interview, 20th Century Classical, Gaudeamus
Charles Amirkhanian introduces a program of music that he originally produced in 1973, in Hilversum, Holland, during his exchange program with the Dutch radio station, VPRO. This radio concert features music generally not well known in the United States, and includes works by Carl Maria von Weber, Henri Rabaud, Tristen Keuris, Jean Absil, Willem Kersters, and Maurice Duruflé. The works range from a traditional orchestral overture to an adventurous modern saxophone quartet. The quality of the... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Classical Music
Charles Amirkhanian introduces a program of music that he originally produced in 1973, in Hilversum, Holland, during his exchange program with the Dutch radio station, VPRO. This radio concert features an orchestral overture by George Antheil, two works for strings by Darius Milhaud, a string quartet by Germaine Tailleferre, and a symphony by Willem Pijper. The last two pieces are little known in the United States and serve as a reminder that many composer’s works, no matter how good, seldom... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Chamber Music
Trombonist Stuart Dempster, master of the sewer pipe didjeridu, performs live from San Francisco's Fort Mason's Pier 2, where the sound installation of Bill Fontana, "Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns", created for the 1981 New Music America Festival, was still sounding. Dempster's earlier performance at the Japan Center was a Festival hit, and when Stu went to Pier 2 and heard his alter egos performing across the Bay, he decided then and there to play in concert with the live foghorn... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Music, Avant Garde, Soundscapes, Stewart Dempster, Bill Fontana
From 1982, Charles Amirkhanian introduces a concert of violin and piano music by American composers, some obscure and some well known. The music is performed live in the KPFA studio, by the San Francisco duo, violinist Greg Mazmanian and pianist Robert Hagopian. The works range from an early romantic sonata by John Alden Carpenter, to more modern sounding sonatas by Henry Cowell, and Aaron Copland. Also included are two works by Alan Hovhaness, the haunting opus one, “Oror (Lullaby)” and... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Chamber Music
In this program you will hear excerpts from several issues of the Educo Records label which presents piano music generally given as practice to novice students of the instrument, including many works by Latin American composers. Charlotte Martin performs brilliantly in works by Clementi, Burgmüller, Kabalevsky, Pinto, Revueltas, Chávez, and others. (from KPFA Folio) Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Keyboard Literature
Pianist Klaus Billing, a West German virtuoso specializing in the 20th Century repertoire, visits the KPFA studio for a live recital. Charles Amirkhanian talks with Mr. Billing about the works he has selected to perform. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, Piano Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music
Emily Wong performs live in the KPFA Studio C. She is the pianist with the Cabrillo Music Festival, Marin civic Light Opera, and teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Charles Amirkhanian hosts the broadcast which features a rare performance of early pieces by Conlon Nancarrow. This concert was held during a fund drive by KPFA and during the intermission requests for funds are made. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Classical, Emily Wong
A reading by the then 80 year old Charles Reznikoff, recorded at the Poetry Center of San Francisco State University on March 21, 1974, in which the poet reads a selection of his works written from 1918 to 1974. Reznikoff, along with fellow poets Carl Rakosi, Louis Zukofsky, and George Oppen were dubbed the Objectivist Poets by Ezra Pound back in the 1930s, and it is Oppen who offers a warm introduction at the start of this program. Reznikoff then reads a number of his mostly short and untitled... Topics: KPFA-FM, Spoken Word, Poetry
One of the most dynamic groups in avant-garde rock music is San Francisco's own The Residents; an underground ensemble which has been composing anonymously and on tape since 1970. KPFA celebrates a decade of music by The Residents with this special three hour extravaganza hosted by Charles Amirkhanian and featuring Snakefinger (frequent guest artist with The Residents) and Jay Clem (promotion director for the group's label, Ralph Records). Tonight we’ll hear selections from the complete music... ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, The Residents
On a live broadcast recorded February 25, 1971, Charles Amirkhanian talked with Lars-Gunner Bodin, Music Director of the Swedish Center for Technological Art, Fylkingen, regarding activities of the institution. Recent works produced there were also heard, including "Traces "(1970) by Bodin, "Don't Hesitate" by Sten Hanson, "Cybo II" (1967) by Bodin, and "Mr. Smith in Rhodesia" by Ake Hodell. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview, Sound Poetry, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Lars Gunnar...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Lowell Sheehy, who describes his visit to Afghanistan, and plays recordings he made in 1969 of the music he heard there. Lowell Sheehy describes his low-budget trips to Afghanistan, and how he met and recorded these impromptu performances in tea houses throughout southern Afghanistan. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, World Music, Afghanistan
Charles Amirkhanian presents an Ode to Gravity program featuring an interview with the composer Alvin Curran from his home in Rome. Selections from this informal talk with Curran are interspersed with musical excerpts, with a special emphasis on the group Curran helped found in the mid-1960s, Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV). The composer discusses his co-founders, who included Frederic Rzewski, Richard Teitelbaum and Alan Bryant, and describes the synthesis of the group, its working methods, and... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Alvin Curran
A appreciation of selected verbal activities. From Dial-A-Prayer and Gertrude Stein to the Ketjak, Harry Partch, the Congo and world champion bowler Don Carter this program is a aural collage of sound poetry, excerpts from literature, ephemeral programs, and televised sound bites. Included is a complete performance of Steve Reich's It's Gonna Rain. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Spoken Word, Sound Poetry, Poetry
From November 1992, Charles Amirkhanian introduces an elegant and eclectic mix of world, spoken word, and contemporary classical music. The program begins with the haunting vocals of Iranian-born Sussan Deyhim performing “Navai” a setting for Sufi poetry influenced by Persian classical and folk melodies. This is followed by an extended version of Glen Velez’s “White-Throated Sparrow” a work for percussion and bansuri flute. The next work is a collaboration between Gavin Bryars and... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, World Music, 20th Century Classical
A program of poetry, jazz, and text-sound composition, featuring works by the Bobby Scott Trio, Charles Amirkhanian, Miles Davis, and Chris Hottel. The program begins with an early version of one of Charles Amirkhanian’s popular works of sound poetry, “Radii,” which takes as its text every word in the dictionary that begins with “r-a-d-i”. This is followed by four pieces by the Bobby Scott Trio taken from an old 1953 Savoy recording (MG 15055). Next up is Chris Hottel reading a... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Jazz, Poetry, Music, Interview
Sped up host Sparky, presents an indelible admixture of organ music, jazz, and sound poetry. First heard is “Liberation Waltz” by (or from) the Berkeley, California based Felicity Facility. This is followed by a selection of musical settings by David Durrah and his jazz band poems of poems by Edward Mycue. The program then concludes with two word-tape pieces by Selrahc Nimajneb Nainahkrima, (a.k.a. Charles Benjamin Amirkhanian). The pace may seem hyper kinetic at times but it is worth... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, Jazz, Sound Poetry
Charles Amirkhanian talks with the noted avant-garde composer Charlemagne Palestine on the subject of the latter's experiments with hearing subtle overtone images in music tones. Palestine had recently returned from performing in Europe and describes the concerts he gave there. He has also taught at Cal Arts and was a noted carillon performer in New York City for 6 years. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Charlemagne...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews Martin Koenig, a collector and publisher of Balkan folk music about his work as an ethnomusicologist specializing in Eastern European folk music and dances. Koenig also introduces a number of recordings from his collection. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, World Music, Martin Koenig
Recorded in Chicago, in March of 1981, Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Phil Corner about his music and career. Born in Morris, Illinois, in 1938, Winsor received his initial musical education at Illinois Wesleyan University and San Francisco State University before doing some graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley and doctoral studies at the University of Illinois. While in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s Winsor also worked for several years at KPFA. In this... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview, Music, Phil Winsor, New Music, 20th Century Classical,...
An interview with Berkeley guitarist and composer Robbie Basho, one of the most innovative performers playing acoustically at the time of this recording. Robbie introduces music from his Vanguard record album "Zarthus" (1974) and talks with Charles Amirkhanian about world music influences in his recent work and his interest in American Indian music. ( 1 reviews ) Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, World Music, Folk Music, Robbie Basho
Composer Tom Johnson, the minimalist’s minimalist, no longer lives in New York, no longer writes provocative criticism for the Village Voice, and has found a new and receptive home for his work and ideas as a composer. In this informal discussion, recorded at the composer’s home in the eleventh arrondissment, Tom talks about his new life, plays an excerpt from a new work for piano, and discusses his retreat from the BAM-dominated New York scene which has eroded support for small, less... Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview, Music, Tom Johnson
On December 20, 1972, composer Annea Lockwood appeared live on Ode To Gravity. She was interviewed by Pauline Oliveros, who begins the discussion by reading a number of dreams that she has had involving Annea, although they had not actually met until this day. They go on to discuss their mutual interest in meditation, and in particular sonic meditation. Later a gathering of 30 composers and performers executed Annea's serenity-inducing event for multiple hummers. Among the many guests were Don... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Soundscapes, Annea Lockwood,...
Charles Amirkhanian presents a program on German composer and musicologist, Gerd de Vries, whose efforts to modernize the establishment music dictionary Riemann’s “Musick Lexicon” have been much appreciated by avant-garde composers. Due to his efforts, entries for such important composers as John Cage have gone from being just a couple of sentences to now filling up more than a page in this well known musical reference work. In addition to discussing his editorial work de Vries also talks... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Modern Art, Gerd De Vries
Charles Amirkhanian talks with David Graham, Gerry Duncan, and Christopher & Teresa Venne about their publication “Attitudes 1”, a futuristic thought collection issued in mid-1971. The publication grew out of the groups interest in the work of British economist, Robert Theobald, but evolved past his theories of a guaranteed annual income, to embrace more Utopian and Spiritual theories, including reincarnation. KPFA’s Gerard Van Der Leun also joins the discussion, which ranges from the... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Lecture, Panel Discussion
A fascinating visit with pianist Ton Hartsuiker and composer David Porcelijn, two prominent avant-garde figures in Holland and producers of that country’s nationwide weekly radio program, Musica Nova. Recorded January 15, 1974, in Hartsuiker’s home in The Hague, here is a light-hearted glimpse into the bowels of the obscure and little publicized aspects of experimental music in the Netherlands. Some of the most fascinating examples of Dutch composing are heard as well as Hartsuiker’s... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Sound Poetry, Dutch Radio
A program produced by Charles Amirkhanian, while he was in the Netherlands as part of an exchange program with VPRO (Holland Radio). Amirkhanian reviews a number of European musical festivals, including a concert of Letterist music. In addition Charles interviews Pierre Boulez after a recent performance of his works. Also interviewed is composer Mauricio Kagel in Cologne, Germany as he prepares for the premiere of his work, Zwei-Mann Orchester, a work scored for homemade instruments, crudely... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Composer-performers Barton and Priscilla McLean of Austin Texas are Charles Amirkhanian’s guests on this edition of Ode to Gravity. This husband and wife duo introduce a number of their primarily electro-acoustic pieces. Their work often has an environmental or political dimension, as is the case with The Last Ten Minutes, which envisions a nuclear holocaust, and Beneath the Horizon III which combines whale songs with a tuba solo to create an evocative sense of longing. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview, Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Sound sculptor Bill Fontana visits Charles Amirkhanian in the KPFA studio and brings with him, three recently recorded CDs of his ambient sound extravaganzas. The first “Australian sound sculptures”, issued by Edition René Block, includes Fontana’s 1976 8-track recording of the Kirribilli Wharf in Sydney, Australia. The second, “Landscape Soundings” is from an installation piece in the center of Vienna, Austria, comprised of sounds from natural wetlands along the Danube. The third,... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Soundscapes, Bill Fontana
One of the best known sound poets in the world is Bob Cobbing, a dynamic gentleman who is active as a concrete (visual) poet, a performer of sound poetry, and a composer of taped poems. Cobbing talks about his activities as a book store operator (he ran Better Books in London for many years, turning it into a leading distribution point for avant-garde poets) and as a publisher of visual poetry. You will hear a selection of his sound poems and an engaging interview recorded in Cobbing’s home... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Bob Cobbing
Originally broadcast on the evening of the 200th anniversary of Beethoven's birth this program would have had the deaf composer holding his head in amazement. An energetic mix of assorted musical genres, this program combines the madness one would associate with the Fugs with the elegance reminiscent of a Chopin nocturne, with a healthy dose of jazz and a little bit of poetry by Ezra Pound thrown in for seasoning. The show concludes with a work for piano by the Maestro himself. A stunning tour... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, Classical Music
The Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College is well known for it ambitious schedule of activities. John Bischoff and Bruce Hale talk with Charles Amirkhanian about their new activity, a Center for Contemporary Art, which is proposed to operate out of Mills and will emphasize video works and instruction. Hale describes the difficulties video artists have in getting their work distributed, due to the fact that most artist can only afford to work with half inch tape while TV only broadcasts... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Modern Art, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Charles Amirkhanian introduces an evening of text-sound pieces, recorded live in concert at the California Institute of the Arts on February 13, 1972,. Pieces heard were mostly composed by students of Ingram Marshall's, first in the world seminar on text sound compositions at Cal Arts. Also heard is a tape of a piece composed by the Swedo-Finish composer Tex Sound (E. Thogrim Baesjehode) as well as a piece (Moonbeams for Bedfellows) composed by Anne Mazonson based on a poem by Larry Eigner. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Spoken Word, Sound Poetry, CalArts
Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Charles Dodge. Dodge specializes in composing computer speech music. He discusses how he composes and the pieces played on the program. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Sound Poetry,...
From an interview recorded in December of 1977 and broadcast on June 26, 1978, Charles Amirkhanian talks with New York composer and producer, Charlie Morrow, at his home on West End Avenue in Manhattan. Morrow was, at the time of this recording, director of the New Wilderness Foundation, which issued a remarkable series of cassette tapes featuring experimental music, text-sound compositions, and field recordings, created by a variety of avant-garde composers and poets. The program begins with... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Charlie Morrow, Music, Interview, New Music
Charles Amirkhanian interviews two virtuoso guitarists, Paul Dresher and Chas Smith. Chas Smith is from Los Angeles, and at the time of this recording had just released a new album of music for pedal steel guitar which was one of the most explosive LP releases of the 1980s. It features the composer with Bob Fernandez, John Fitzgerald, M. B. Gordy, and Theresa Knight, in performances of Nakadai, Hollister, and A Judas Within. The lavishly packaged album was privately published by the composer on... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Music Theatre,...
Charles Amirkhanian interviews William Hibbard, Music Director of the Center of New Music at the University of Iowa, who was spending his summer in the Bay Area. A number of his pieces are played and the composer describes his affection for 12 tone music. Later in the program, Charles plays a number of works by composers also teaching at the University of Iowa. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Chamber Music, William...
The advent of the commonly available personal computer took the digital revolution further than some dreamed possible. Charles Amirkhanian and Richard Friedman host a discussion with composers Henry Kaiser and journalists, including the editors of Electronic Musician, Keyboard, and Mac User magazines. The topic of discussion is the use of personal computers by both professional and amateur musicians for musical composition and performance. At the end of the program the panel takes questions... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Lecture, Panel Discussion, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic
Charles Amirkhanian introduces recent compositions by this American composer, who since 1947 developed a unique body of complex pieces, all for player piano. Nancarrow was able to punch carefully calculated holes in player piano rolls and make the instrument perform inhumanly difficult figures. His concerns with rhythm and sonority are more advanced than almost any in the world, yet his music makes an immediate impression even to those who don’t normally like avant-garde music. This is music... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Mechanical Music,...
Composer Richard Horowitz and Iranian vocalist Sussan Deyhim combined the sounds of new wave electronica, percussion, and Middle Eastern modal music in their 1987 album, “Desert Equation: Azax Attra”. Charles Amirkhanian plays selections from the album and interviews Horowitz about how he and Deyhim constructed these enchanting blends of modern technology and ancient sounds. The music is scored for voice, nāy flute, percussion and electronic keyboards and has been described by some as an... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Popular Music, World Music
While in Bern, Switzerland in the Summer of 1972, Charles Amirkhanian and his wife Carol Law, interviewed two avant-garde artists who were then working in the area of visual art and sound poetry. Born in 1942, Herbert Distel, had already produced a number of iconic works, including a large Styrofoam egg, which he famously photographed as it floated in a large body of water, as well as his mini museum, a cabinet featuring 500 tiny installations by some of the world’s greatest living artists.... Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Avant-Garde, Interview, Music
Another excellent example of an early Ode to Gravity program. This time it is an interesting mix of music and spoken word, ranging from Medieval Germanic choral music, avant-garde orchestral works, American popular music from the 1920s or 1930s, canary’s chirping, spell casting, bowling advice and other assorted sounds. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, Orchestral Music
Charles Amirkhanian presents three works from the early period of the American composer, Roger Sessions. These include two works for solo piano, “From My Diary” and “Sonata No. 1”. The program concludes with Session’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” performed by Paul Zukofsky with Gunther Schuller conducting the ORTF Orchestra. Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Music, 20th Century Classical, Roger Sessions